With blended families becoming more and more common, it is critical to make sure that you make the necessary provisions in your estate planning. Blended families are those in which one or more partners have children from a previous relationship. Often, the parents are confused when it comes to their rights as a parent when it comes to legal issues such as estate planning.
When it comes to estate planning for blended families, there are so many things that can go wrong. Blended families are often made up of those who have been divorced or widowed, so certain legal situations may arise. It is imperative that these be addressed in your estate planning process to avoid any legal hassles in the event of you or your spouse’s demise.
In the following article, we shall discuss the issues and questions you need to discuss with your attorney when it comes to estate planning for blended families.
Questions to Ask in the Estate Planning Process
- What do you want to happen to your remains after your death?
- Should you become incapacitated; who do you want to make decisions on your behalf?
- Who is going to provide for your children and/or dependants?
- What legal rights does your former partner have when it comes to your shared children?
- Do you have any financial obligations to your former spouse/partner?
- Does anyone involved have any liabilities that might impact the financial standing of all of the parties involved in the estate planning?
- Who will take over as their legal guardian in the event of your death?
- Are you collecting Social Security or any other benefits? What will happen to those in the event of your death?
- Do you have a plan as to how to divide up your assets?
- How will you provide for both your surviving spouse and your blended family?
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Estate Planning for Blended Families
- Prepare for a variety of situations
As life is unpredictable, you should sit down and discuss the following scenarios with your current spouse or partner
- The event that your spouse should die before you
- The event in which you pass away first
- The unfortunate event in which you both die at the same time (ie: accident, natural disaster and the like). You would need to choose a legal guardian to care for your shared children in this sector, as well as whom you want to be the joint executor of your estate.
- Make sure that your will is up to date
If you currently have a written will, it is imperative that you update to include your current parent and children. Make sure that all details are relevant and up to date as this can prevent many hassles down the line. This also applies to a living trust. If you do not make the necessary changes, your former spouse may end up with everything and your current spouse and children could lose everything that is dear to them. Always ensure that your current will and living trusts are current.
- If you have a prenup, make sure that your estate planning details are included in the documentation.
In the event that you are engaged to be married and are going to have a prenuptial agreement, you should ensure that all of your estate planning is included. This is the best way to make sure that any of your children from a previous marriage or relationship are provided for in the event of your death. Include a detailed medical history for your children such any medical conditions or allergies as well as all of their medical and educational records.
- Ensure that you’re medical and pension plans, as well as any legal documentation is up to date.
All of the dependants in your blended family need to be added to your insurance policy. Be sure to have the correct information such as their social security number, birth date, legal name and so forth. This also includes any retirement plans, mutual or trust funds and IRA’s. This can save a great deal of legal hassle and red tape in the future.
Your blended family will already have enough to deal with the in event of your demise. If you pay attention to the above details, you can give them the peace of mind that any legal issues are covered.
Should you have any questions regarding how to protect your personal or business assets, feel free to call the Titanium Asset Protection at (714) 827-9955. With our years of experience in asset protection, we will be able to answer any of your questions and concerns. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation